Giants win division crown
Published: Sunday, January 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress provided the big plays the New York Giants needed to win the NFC East and secure a home playoff game.
Burress had a key block on Barber's career-long, 95-yard touchdown run, then had a career-best 78-yard catch and run for a touchdown, and they both made quarterback Eli Manning look good in the Giants' 30-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night.
Barber ran for 203 yards and Jay Feely kicked three field goals, including a 47-yarder early in the fourth quarter, as New York (11-5) won its first division title since Raiders' quarterback Kerry Collins led the Giants to the 2001 Super Bowl.
Collins had a solid game against his former team, which made him expendable when the Giants traded for top pick Eli Manning on draft day in 2004. He didn't have a turnover for the first time since Oct. 2 against Dallas.
Randy Moss had seven receptions for 116 yards with TD catches of 15 and 44 yards for his first multi-touchdown game with Oakland, and finished his first Raiders' season with 60 catches for 1,005 yards. The Raiders' passing game looked much better than in recent weeks. But in a sequence that summed up Oakland's season, the Raiders couldn't score with four chances from the 1 after getting first-and-goal with 3:44 left trailing by nine.
Barber's touchdown run helped him move into the NFL lead in rushing with 1,860 yards - 53 more than Seattle's Shaun Alexander, who finishes the season Sunday at Green Bay. Barber also established a franchise record, breaking Hap Moran's 91-yard TD run in 1930.
John Lynch sent host San Diego into a painful offseason.
The Denver safety, who's from San Diego, keyed a 23-7 Broncos win on Saturday by knocking Drew Brees out of the game with a shoulder injury, then forcing Philip Rivers to fumble in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
Tatum Bell scored three touchdowns for Denver, but was held to 52 yards on 17 carries. He needed 131 yards for 1,000. He and Mike Anderson were trying to become the fourth running back tandem in NFL history to finish with 1,000 yards each.
The game, played on a rainy afternoon in front of a crowd that included thousands of Broncos fans, meant nothing in the standings.
Denver (13-3) had already clinched the AFC West title and a first-round bye.
San Diego (9-7), which won the division last year, lost three of its last four games.
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